Since I was a little girl, I have loved to write letters and send cards, for any reason. Some of my fondest memories were reciprocal correspondence with my Georgian relatives. I still maintain close contact with family and friends, no matter where they live.
Each June, I send out a fair number of retirement and graduation cards to friends and colleagues. Always written in some fashion on these cards is the expression: "take care of yourself!"
I have been a nurse for over 30 years. Until 1999, I didn't "take very good care of myself". Almost dying is a fabulous wake - up call about the importance of now!
It’s puzzling why society, in general, places self care on the back-burner. Some of the reasons commonly discussed in my classroom include: family (kids, spouse, and parents); work (stress from colleagues, bills, unemployment issues, time and sleep issues); health (self, loved ones); higher education (time, tuition).
It was inspiring to encounter a student who credited his three young sons for helping him "act like a kid", every day, even for a short while. He reminded us how important it is to take time to play. As a nurse, he remained optimistic and grateful that he could go home, after a stressful day, to his beautiful family.
Teaching nurses who are pursuing an advanced degree, I am overwhelmed by the stressors they face. I urge you to thank the next nurse who cares for you. Sometimes that heartfelt gratitude makes all the difference.
I fully appreciate that every job has a degree of stress. Today, there is even additional worry with our unemployment rate; and talented people are searching for work. So stressed folks thinks they don’t have the time to take care of themselves - a vicious circle when you think about it...
This makes it even more important to take care of ourselves on a physical, mental, and spiritual level.
Come to think of it, I write "take care of yourself" on most every type of note I send! I feel strongly about this! I consider self care a life saver! I assert that self care is NOT selfish..!
My physical body carries me through the life that God has given me. Each day I experience nature and enjoy some kinds of healthy foods.
My mind helps me think about issues with clarity and meaning. Each day I exercise it somehow by being creative, social and interactive with those I care about.
My soul keeps me aligned with my purpose in the Universe. Each day I spend time in quiet prayer, meditation and contemplation to develop self awareness and growth.
For me, music touches my body, mind, and soul. Music serves as a form of self-expression and stress relief - helping me to relax as needed through my day. I even have selected music for techniques like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
I’ve been catching up on visiting friends as my summer teaching schedule is a bit lighter. One of my friends has become the caregiver for his wife and another is being cared for by her husband. In one situation, my friend has been able to hire a home health aide to take care of his wife for eight hours each day. In the other situation, my friend’s husband assumes all the care for my friend- reluctant to accept help from others even when assistance is offered.
It makes sense, eventually, if you don’t take care of yourself, you will not only not be able to care for your loved one, but you may need help yourself. It may feel selfish in the short-term to go out for dinner or take a nap while someone else cares for your loved one. It may even feel selfish to take 10 minutes listening to music and breathing when there is laundry to be done and appointments to be scheduled. Such is not the case.
You need to take care of yourself, too. You cannot carry the weight of the world on your shoulders indefinitely.
Make the time for self-care, so that you and your loved one can stay healthier and happier for as long as possible.
If you had an hour a day, how would you take care of yourself...? What song would you listen to, or even sing...? Here is one for you:
"THE KNOWLEDGE THAT A GOOD BOOK IS AWAITING ONE AT THE END OF A LONG DAY MAKES THAT DAY HAPPIER." (KATHLEEN NORRIS)
Here’s some words worthy of checking out in Weeblyhood:
Until next week, take care of yourself.
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